Paperkey: How to backup your GnuPG keys on paper

To create a backup of your GPG Key, you may use one of the following commands


paperkey --secret-key my-secret-key.gpg --output to-be-printed.txt

Or using this if you have exported (not armored) GPG Key in file:

paperkey --secret-key my-secret-key.gpg --output to-be-printed.txt

To restore it you will need a paperkey data in file and you public key. The following command will take public key from public-key.gpg file and paperkey data from secret-paperkey.gpg file and will import it to ~/.gnupg.

$ paperkey --pubring public-key.gpg --secrets secret-paperkey.gpg | gpg --import

If you have armored gpg public key, you will need to dearmor it first by doing this:

$ gpg --dearmor public-key.gpg

To install it on your mac, you may use brew:

$ brew install paperkey

Paperkey by David Shaw